In Downey, California, a disturbing video of the Downey Animal Care Center’s callous treatment of a badly injured German shepherd shocked animal welfare advocates, reports the Press-Telegram.
The egregious cruelty occurred on November 17, when an area resident found a dog possibly hit by a vehicle and brought him to the shelter for help. The Good Samaritan, George Duran, who found the dog, videoed the distressing encounter as one animal control officer wrapped a rope around the dog’s muzzle and another officer picked the dog up by the scruff of the neck out of Duran’s vehicle – setting the dog down on the dog’s injured hind quarters. The dog, unable to help himself cried out in pain, as he fell to the ground. “These people showed no heart and no compassion in handling this dog,” Duran stated. “…I told the guy you’re injuring the dog, but he didn’t care.”
At the same time Duran asked an officer to get a muzzle for the dog, but was completely ignored while the others lifted the dog by holding its four legs and dropped it into a cage. The dog was later euthanized. A necropsy had been requested by the L.A. County Department of Animal Care and Control Veterinary Chief of Staff Dr. Solacito, however, the veterinarian on duty stated the decision to euthanize were “signs of spinal injury” and the dog having “agonal breathing”. No radiographs were taken while the dog was alive to determine his specific injuries.
According to accepted policy for the Downey Animal Care Center, all injured animals are to be handled with “gentleness and consideration as not to aggravate or worsen their conditions.” Department officials have stated they were “disappointed in what they saw.”
On Thursday, shelter officials said they will be developing new training methods for employees handling injured animals. It has been “determined that additional training for staff would be beneficial.” Animal Care and Control’s Senior Veterinarian and Deputy Directors will be overseeing an immediate retraining of staff. In addition, the department is investigating the purchase of slings to make injured animals more comfortable. Employee conduct will be “handled administratively.” The change, comes after a petition with over 6,500 signatures demanded changes in the handling of animals. Be warned the video is very disturbing. Too bad the dog had to suffer before any changes could be made just in the name of compassion. Rest in peace sweet dog.
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